Feeds

Windows 8

Apple iOS 7 makes some users literally SICK. As in puking, not upset

Excessive zoom and 3D-effect graphics in Apple's latest iOS is leaving some users reaching for the sick bucket

VMware desktop virt refresh lets you run Windows 8 everywhere

Run Windows 8 inside Windows 8, hey, why not

High performance access to file storage

Just days ahead of its annual VMworld conference in San Francisco, VMware has announced new versions of its consumer desktop virtualization solutions for Windows and Mac OS X, both with improved support for Windows 8.

VMware Workstation 9, which the company announced on Thursday, has been optimized for running on Windows 8 host PCs, in addition to making it easier to install and run Windows 8 in virtual machines.

While previous versions of Workstation required a complex set of steps to get Windows 8 virtual machines up and running, the new version includes an Easy Install script tailored for Redmond's latest OS, and Windows virtual machines now start up faster.

VMware has also improved Workstation's Unity mode, which allows applications running in virtual machines to appear on the host desktop as if they were running natively on the local OS, so that Metro-style Modern UI apps for the Windows 8 Start Screen integrate seamlessly with desktop applications.

Adding to the Windows 8 love, Workstation 9 includes support for USB 3.0 in Windows 8 virtual machines, as well as full multi-touch support – because we all know how annoying to some the new OS can be without a touch interface.

VMware says it has made "significant" improvements in Workstation 9's 3D graphics performance and rendering, and support has been added for OpenGL 2.1 for Linux virtual machines. Users who don't constantly walk the cutting edge will be pleased to hear that it also includes an improved graphics driver for Windows XP.

Workstation 9 also adds a new remote desktop capability, which allows users to access and interact with virtual machines using any modern web browser, without the need for any plugins. VMware says that means you'll even be able to access your virtualized PC desktops from smartphones, though your Reg hack has a hard time seeing how that's practical.

The latest product refresh also introduces the concept of restricted virtual machines. With Workstation 9, a virtual machine can be configured to require a password on launch and another password to change its settings, allowing administrators to distribute VMs to users without worrying that they'll wreck things.

Only the latest versions of VMware's desktop virty products will support running restricted VMs, including Workstation 9, Fusion 5, and VMware Player 5.

Last but not least, VMware has finally completed the circle with its integration of VMware Workstation with its vSphere data center product line. When Workstation 8 debuted in 2011, El Reg found it odd that you could drag a VM from your Workstation library to a server running an ESXi hypervisor in the data center, but not the other way around. With Workstation 9, it works both ways.

A Mountain Lion/Windows 8 love fest

Also announced on Thursday was VMware Fusion 5, the company's desktop virty package for Mac OS X. The new version includes many of the same Windows 8 optimizations as Workstation 9, but adds a number of new tweaks designed to take advantage of OS X 10.8, aka "Mountain Lion."

Performance enhancements were a major focus of this release. In addition to 3D graphics improvements similar to those found in Workstation 9, VMware says the new version of Fusion offers up to 40 per cent faster performance for virtual machines, compared to earlier versions of the product.

Fusion 5 also adds support for the latest Mountain Lion technologies, including USB 3.0, better support for Macs with 16GB or more of RAM, searching for Windows programs in Launchpad, using AirPlay Mirroring to stream Windows applications to HDTVs, and support for the Mountain Lion notifications center.

Hawk-eyed fanbois will also be pleased to note that Fusion 5 has been optimized for Retina Displays.

In addition to the basic version of Fusion 5, VMware offers Fusion Professional, which adds a few additional features. Most notably, it includes the ability to create restricted virtual machines, which was also introduced in Workstation 9. It also bundles a commercial license to distribute VMware Player, as does Workstation.

The new versions of the Mac and Windows products are available immediately. VMware Workstation 9 retails for $249, although customers with Workstation 7 and 8 licenses are eligible to upgrade for $119, and customers who bought Workstation 8 in August get the upgrade for free. 

VMware Fusion 5 goes for $49.99. There is no upgrade pricing for this edition, although customers who bought VMware Fusion 4 after July 25, 2012 are eligible for a free upgrade. Owners of VMware Fusion 3 or 4 licenses might also opt to spend their $49.99 on an upgrade to VMware Fusion 5 Professional, however, which normally sells for $99.99. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
US taxman blows Win XP deadline, must now spend millions on custom support
Gov't IT likened to 'a Model T with a lot of things on top of it'
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.